Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Murray Street Coffee Shop

Murray Street Coffee Shop is the kind of place you can’t help but love: An indie coffeehouse (take that, corporate chains!) from a worldly husband-and-wife team, Douglas and Liz Davis, that just opened Sat. (7/30) in the "inner city" (sorta): Deep Ellum. "I noticed that there was nowhere I could go to get a New York Times and a cup of coffee," says Doug. (He has a hi-tech day job, so he pulls the early-ayem shift; Liz takes over during the day.) They’re using Illy coffee and making all yr favorite espresso drinks, plus pastries and of course wi-fi access (an essential coffeehouse ingredient these dayz). This is interesting (and smart): The coffee shop eschews the night scene and keeps daylight hours only, 7 am - 7 pm. Murray Street is one of the coolest little side streets in Deep Ellum, w/ small, people-scale brick bldgs that give it a real neighborhood feel.

103 Murray St. (@ Main) 214-655-2808

46 Comments:

At August 03, 2005 10:28 AM, Blogger Twisted Link said...

Look out, sbux!

 
At August 03, 2005 10:40 AM, Blogger TG said...

no. none of that "look out sbux" stuff. absolutely not.

i do wonder how long it might take sbux to open a branch down there. maybe not IN deep elllum but somewhere in that general area. if they do intend to open 500 more stores domestically this year, or whatever the figure is. something like that.

 
At August 03, 2005 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never heard of this place. Thanks TG, I'll be sure to check it out.

 
At August 03, 2005 11:55 AM, Anonymous Dick Phallusson said...

a decent indie in Dallas now? only week after no decent indies in Dallas? holy flaming lips, Batman!

does it "match sbux' standard of cleanliness & freshness?" 'cause if it does not i don't really want to take Tom there with me. i'll meet Lauren on my own, 'cause she likes it dirty.

 
At August 03, 2005 12:03 PM, Blogger Kirk said...

I wondered the same thing, TG. Now that SBux has put Torrefazione Italia (my former favorite) out of business by acquiring them, it's only a matter of time before they start locating stores where they can poach customers from the little guys. Let's hope they don't do that with the Murray Street Coffee Shop.

By the way, I do think they are reaching the saturation point in some locales. I heard on Michael Feldman's Whadya Know? last weekend that Falls Church, VA, has eight Starbucks stores to service its 10,000-person population. No wonder people inside the Beltway are so jittery!

 
At August 03, 2005 12:10 PM, Anonymous lofty said...

You know wahat else is great just a few blks away is All Good Cafe, weekend breakfasts, crazy. It puts to rest the bitching about Deep Ellum not being a place where somebody can stay in business. How do you explain Cafe Brazil? You just need to get the right kind of place. These are the real deal, no West Village posers need apply.

 
At August 03, 2005 12:47 PM, Blogger TG said...

kirk, i liked torrefazione too. i'm bummed that sbux ate them up. they used cool/ornate italian deruta cups! but their mgmt was iffy; i found service to often be a huge pain in the ass.

despite my current role as sbux cheerleader, i'm an indie champ from way back; the thermal cup i carry around (don't waste!) i got in '86 from the indie i frequented in calif. i hate to see sbux come in and put a GOOD place out of bizness. what i loathe is bullshit sympatico w/ an indie regardless of what kind of crap the indie is putting out. i want to support people who are making the best-quality product, who are advancing "coffee greatness", no matter who it is. but i don't resent starbucks for seeking out locations next to inferior indies and thereby putting them out of biz. the good ones do survive.

i haven't had the coffee at murray st yet (nor did i grill them on their cleaning/maintenance sked), but they're wisely using great Illy coffee which sets them apart from the chains. they underwent illy's training program but have also been making espresso at home, for themselves, for years: my kind of peeps

 
At August 03, 2005 12:48 PM, Blogger Twisted Link said...

Of course, you've never heard of it; the place just opened on Saturday. Also, nobody said this place was decent. Can anybody read and comprehend anymore?

The only way MSCS is going to stay in biz is if it appeals to people. It doesn't even have to be good, as we all know from Cafe Brazil. If it fails, I hope sbux comes along and buys it out. But first, there must be an sbux in N. Oak Cliff.

 
At August 03, 2005 12:49 PM, Blogger Twisted Link said...

Goddammit!

 
At August 03, 2005 12:56 PM, Anonymous soofsayer said...

twisted deserves a bishop arts starbucks like nobody else. (except, twisted, now that you're not there, could a bishop arts sbux survive without your bizness?)

 
At August 03, 2005 1:03 PM, Blogger Twisted Link said...

I know there's hundreds of people in the district and in Kessler Park who'd stop by every day.

 
At August 03, 2005 1:09 PM, Blogger Twisted Link said...

Has anybody ever bought coffee from that little roaster on skillman and la vista? I've always wondered about his stuff.

 
At August 03, 2005 2:29 PM, Anonymous m.b. said...

Where is mis.ery who always grumbles about your too-many Starbucks items? Or is he/she one of those people who secretly likes Starbucks. Some people like the place but don't want to admit it.

 
At August 03, 2005 2:31 PM, Blogger BK said...

Thanks... We'll check this place out. Illy makes good coffee but it's waaaay overpriced per pound so it'll be interesting to see the MSCS prices.

Never tried the Skillman/La Vista place although I've been by it a hundred times.

We usually buy our coffee at Mawker's (from Arlington) in the furniture shed at the Farmer's Market. On weekends, it's always roasted that night before and it's got simply awesome aroma and taste. Plus, they give you a free iced herbal tea when you buy, which helps after trudging thru those barns when it's 105 in the lot.

 
At August 03, 2005 2:34 PM, Anonymous clairevoyant said...

although i usually depend on my "high on life" to get me going in the morning, it would be nice to see a good independent coffee place open here on the west coast of FL.
as tg knows, just a few years ago, i had to drive miles to get to the closest sbux, so i didn't go. now they're on every corner, with no room for anyone else. give me variety, or give me tea.

 
At August 03, 2005 2:41 PM, Anonymous aghast said...

tea?

 
At August 03, 2005 3:09 PM, Blogger BK said...

Or perhaps cake or death?

 
At August 03, 2005 3:28 PM, Blogger TG said...

Mr. BK, what beans does mawker do? "sumatra" "breakfast blend", that kind of thing? freshly roasted is where it's at. and at the farmers mkt no less

 
At August 03, 2005 3:41 PM, Blogger Twisted Link said...

I'm not sure clairvoyant should be drinking Miller High Life so early in the a.m. I can see a toke or a short line just to get you going, but the drinking indicates a real problem.

 
At August 03, 2005 4:14 PM, Anonymous DD said...

OK, let me chime in with just a little additional information. Murray Street Coffee Shop pricing is below Starbucks. The shop does have a selection of teas from Mighty Leaf. We have a Reneka espresso machine that has been (and will be) serviced regularly to ensure consistent quality. In terms of inspiration (besides wanting a good cup and paper), I would cite Jo's in Austin (for attracting an interesting crowd that hangs, reads and chats)and coffee houses in Scandinavia (where I have spent LOTS of time). Decor is a combo of Scandic and mid-century modern. It's very clean and bright with a wide mix of tunes on random (Chopin to Calexico to Kraftwerk, etc.) But hey, it's our first stab at this kind of business and we have lot's to learn... hope you'll give us a try! --Doug Davis

 
At August 03, 2005 4:28 PM, Anonymous tea for two said...

Mighty Leaf tea is great! Whole leaves, wonderful floral qualty, and the bags are made of a sheer, silky fabric - best tea ever!

 
At August 03, 2005 5:08 PM, Anonymous clairevoyant said...

twisted: pleas not th splling of my nam.
(and the drinking is only a problem if someone notices. so far i've managed to keep it a secret. don't tell anyone.)

 
At August 03, 2005 5:26 PM, Anonymous ms.ery said...

mb: thank you for noticing that i have been quiet. i am just so WEARY of this posturing over coffee and now tea, which when it is hot gives me headaches. doug davis sounds like an ok person with the right attitude about what a coffeehouse should be. if dallas allowed a smoking section, i'd give it a try. caffeine without nicotine is so wimpy.

 
At August 03, 2005 5:36 PM, Anonymous plain java joe said...

clairevoyant: if you can get out of the house for your caffeine fix, i think you're really looking for something else. those of us who really need a jump start got to have it before we can get dressed, much less start the car and drive

 
At August 03, 2005 5:50 PM, Blogger TG said...

the NYCE comment area is honored by a visit from d.d., the actual owner of Murray St himself. (you don't see the prez of burger king stopping by; all we get is dumb ol' tom cruise.) and any mix-tape that incorporates kraftwerk gets 4 stars!

as for poor ms.ery, it's a sad thing that she has no taste for exploring the fine points of coffee (and that she's so danged attached to those cigs), since it's always fun to have her 2 cents on any topic.

 
At August 03, 2005 6:46 PM, Blogger Twisted Link said...

Thorry ClairE.

Le Miz could sit outside and smoke up a storm. I do it here where there's a coffee shop every 2 feet.

 
At August 03, 2005 6:47 PM, Blogger Twisted Link said...

Hey DD, where are you gonna get a good paper?

 
At August 03, 2005 6:50 PM, Blogger BK said...

tg... they do things primarily by country. Costa Rica, JAH-maica, Tanzania, Nicaragua, etc. They also have a breakie blend, which although very good, we don't buy anymore because we are huge Costa Rican Tarrazu fans. So, that's what we get.

Since they are a small biz, not all the beans are available on a given weekend. They also have a very basic, ordering website at www.mawkercoffee.com

The couple are a joy to tslk with, are very knowledgable about coffee and always have time to talk. They are right beside the "boat" from Looziana -- the best flash frozen shrimp, direct from the Gulf, in Dallas!

 
At August 03, 2005 9:57 PM, Anonymous m.b. said...

Mis.Ery, I guess I thought that readers of this blog would have an interest in coffee. Or a place like Murray Street (which isn't part of any chain). I know I will try their coffee, and I'm not a regular coffee drinker.

Clairevoyant, I will try their tea too!.

 
At August 03, 2005 10:29 PM, Blogger TG said...

hmf. nobody noticed my fancy new blog format where i can run the words next to the picture. which i thought was pretty cool. (as was the awesome photo supplied by none other than dd himself.) but i hear ya: nobody cares about the behind-the-scenes stuff. no worries. i'll toil on. alone. i don't need touts to keep on keeping on. really. go about your business

 
At August 04, 2005 3:02 AM, Anonymous ms.ery said...

maybe it's my skewed sked that keeps me out of coffeehouses. right about now is when i would visit one, but as you see, it's not quite 3 a.m. and i don't think any are open. i'll be up a couple of hours now, then up again around 7 or 8 and REALLY NEEDING coffee then. so i will have it at home.

this was an unusually good posting tho, t.g., and your ability to run the copy right next to the photo -- just like they do at morning news and d mag -- is totally awe inspiring!

 
At August 04, 2005 3:19 AM, Anonymous d.b. cooper said...

you mean you're GETTING UP at this hour? lots of us are STILL UP, having never gone to bed

 
At August 04, 2005 3:45 AM, Anonymous d.b. cooper said...

haven't heard from twisted dog for awhile. maybe he's gone to north korea to get cloned

 
At August 04, 2005 8:58 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

Love my local coffee houses (as long as they're clean, etc)! I need to visit the one near me more often than I do.

 
At August 04, 2005 8:59 AM, Anonymous catahoula 86 said...

be like that mongrel to go to north instead of south korea. maybe someone will have him for dinner

 
At August 04, 2005 9:04 AM, Anonymous paula rock said...

Note: Webster's prefers coffeehouse, one word.

 
At August 04, 2005 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with other coffeehouses is that Sbux had brainwashed us all into liking only their style and flavor of coffee, in a P.F. Chang's kinda way.

Now, everything else just tastes like crap.

 
At August 04, 2005 11:06 AM, Anonymous aristotle said...

Hey speak for yourself, anonymous. I don't feel brainwashed. People who are afraid to offer a comment in their own name might be brainwashed, but I don't feel that way, and neither does my pal Plato.

 
At August 04, 2005 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

urm yeah "aristotle," you keep telling yourself that.

 
At August 04, 2005 11:16 AM, Anonymous Plato said...

Hey Ari, let's meet later on for a latte down at Murray Street!

 
At August 04, 2005 11:27 AM, Anonymous Dean said...

TG: I'm shocked. Not by the fact that you're plugging a coffee house, but that it's NOT a Starbucks!

 
At August 04, 2005 3:27 PM, Anonymous lofty said...

You don't mention the VERY cool lights at this place (which you can partly see in the pic posted on this blog - like big yellow chandelliers).

 
At August 05, 2005 9:23 AM, Anonymous socrates said...

i'd sooner drink poison than visit a trendy coffeehouse

 
At August 05, 2005 9:26 AM, Anonymous Dean said...

(passes socrates poison)

 
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At March 06, 2008 1:38 PM, Blogger Stivel Velasquez said...

This place jams. The inside is beautiful, the coffee is delicious, their sandwiches are unbelievable (order the mozzarella and pesto sanwich, it'll change your life), and the staff is loveable. march madness Plus, they have free wifi. I work from home, so I'm always on the lookout for a good place to get out of the house and work from. Murray St. is one of my favorites.
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